How to Make Hot Pot in a Slow Cooker for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Do you love the communal dining experience of hot pot, but don’t have a portable burner or tabletop cooker? As a busy home cook, you want a hands-off way to make this flavorful one-pot meal. Well, we have great news – you can easily adapt hot pot to be made in a slow cooker!

While traditional hot pot involves an interactive cooking process, using a slow cooker provides the same delicious results with convenience. The broth simmers away unattended for hours, infusing with spices, aromatics, and protein flavors. Meat and veggies can be prepped ahead and cooked through in the pot. Dipping sauces can be made ahead too.

In this article, we will provide tips and tricks for converting your favorite hot pot recipes into set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meals. With a few simple substitutions and adjustments, you can come home to a mouthwatering hot pot spread ready to enjoy.

We’ll also share slow cooker-safe hot pot broth, protein, veggie, and dipping sauce ideas. Bring the communal dining fun of hot pot to your next weeknight dinner or laidback gathering with ease using a slow cooker.

The Pain Point: Wanting Hot Pot Convenience

You love the communal, hands-on dining experience of hot pot. But the traditional process requires vigilance to keep the broth at the right temp. As a busy home cook, you want a way to enjoy hot pot with less active effort.

Making hot pot in a slow cooker allows you to prep components ahead of time, and come home to a ready-to-eat meal. Just throw ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning or afternoon. Let it cook on low for 6-8 hours unattended. You don’t have to constantly monitor the pot on the stove.

This hands-off approach provides the same fun, interactive eating experience and delicious flavors of hot pot without the work. Keep reading to learn how!

Answering the Keyword: How Do You Make Hot Pot in a Slow Cooker?

To make hot pot in a slow cooker, you’ll need to tweak traditional hot pot recipes and techniques. Here are some tips:

  • Use broths that work well when simmered for hours – Avoid broths like dashi that get bitter when overcooked. Opt for seasoned chicken, beef or vegetable broth.
  • Prep meats and veggies – Slice thin so everything cooks through fully.
  • Add tender veggies at end – Vegetables like mushrooms can get mushy when cooked for hours.
  • Cook noodles and rice separately – Starchy carbs can get overcooked and gluey in the slow cooker.
  • Use a liner – This prevents staining and stuck-on food. Disposable liners make cleanup easy.
  • Allow time for heating and mixing – Give cooked food a quick stir to absorb flavors before eating.

With a few adjustments, you can transform your favorite hot pot into a delicious set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker meal!

Slow Cooker-Friendly Broths

The right broth is key to infuse your slow cooker hot pot with mouthwatering flavor. Here are some delicious broth options:

Chicken Broth

Simmer chicken broth with aromatics like garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and spices (star anise, Sichuan pepper, etc). This imparts savory flavor.

Beef Bone Broth

Beef broth simmered for hours extracts nutrients from bones. Add onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf.

Vegetable Broth

For a lighter option, vegetable broth shines with garlic, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper.

Tom Yum

This Thai soup base combines spices like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and lime juice.

Mushroom Broth

Rehydrate dried mushrooms to make an earthy, umami-rich broth. Shiitake and porcini work well.

Coconut Curry Broth

Coconut milk, red curry paste, cilantro, and lime make a creamy, warming broth.

Meats That Shine in Slow Cooker Hot Pot

Tender, flavorful cuts of meat pair perfectly with the low-and-slow environment of the slow cooker.

Chicken Thighs

Boneless, skinless thighs hold up well when simmered for hours. Infuse the broth with flavor.

Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder or butt roast falls apart into tender shreds after a long cook time.

Beef Chuck Roast

Well-marbled chuck roast makes melt-in-your-mouth hot pot when braised.


Homemade chicken, pork, or beef meatballs lend bite-sized protein and flavor.


Mild sausages like kielbasa and smoked andouille plump up nicely.


Frozen shrimp thaw and cook through perfectly in the slow cooker.

Veggies and Tofu

Go for vegetables that can withstand a long cook time. Quick-cooking veggies can be added at the end.

  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms (added later)
  • Bok choy (added later)
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli florets
  • Sweet potato
  • Firm tofu cubes

Noodles and Rice

Since starchy noodles and rice can overcook in a slow cooker, cook them separately according to package directions. Then add to broth to heat through and soak up flavors.

  • Rice noodles
  • Ramen noodles
  • Udon noodles
  • Soba noodles
  • Rice

Sauces and Seasonings

  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Chili oil or paste
  • Sesame oil
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sambal
  • Scallions
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro

Helpful Equipment

  • 6-quart slow cooker (or larger for big groups)
  • Disposable slow cooker liners for easy cleanup
  • Immersion blender to purée some broth to thicken (optional)
  • Ladle for serving broth into individual bowls
  • Chopsticks, spoons, forks for cooking and eating

Tips for Hot Pot Success

Follow these tips to nail hot pot in the slow cooker:

  • Prep all ingredients ahead – wash, trim, slice, portion
  • Use liner for less mess
  • Give cooked food a quick stir to absorb broth
  • Cook noodles/rice separately just before serving
  • Let guests flavor individual bowls with sauces
  • Keep pot on warm setting during eating
  • Add more broth as needed if it reduces too much

Sample Hot Pot Slow Cooker Meal Menus

Here are a few fun menu ideas to inspire your next slow cooker hot pot night:


  • Dashi and kombu broth
  • Thinly sliced beef
  • Tofu
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Udon noodles
  • Dipping sauces – ponzu, sesame oil, soy sauce

Thai Coconut Curry

  • Coconut curry broth
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken thighs
  • Rice noodles
  • Bok choy
  • Garnishes – cilantro, lime, sambal

Chinese Spicy Mala

  • Chili oil and Sichuan pepper broth
  • Beef meatballs
  • Napa cabbage
  • Rice
  • Scallions and cilantro


  • Vegetable broth
  • Tofu
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Soba noodles
  • Ginger and ponzu dipping sauce

Slow Cooker Hot Pot Tips

  • You can prepare the broth and meats in the morning or day before. Refrigerate and add fresh vegetables right before serving.
  • For parties, use two slow cookers with different broths so guests can have a choice.
  • Let guests scoop out their own ingredients as they cook so they are customized to doneness preferences.
  • Keep broth piping hot – at least 180°F for food safety with meats and seafood.
  • Don’t lift the lid frequently as this lets heat escape.
  • Add more broth or hot water if level reduces too much while cooking.

Benefits of Slow Cooker Hot Pot

Hot pot in the slow cooker offers many advantages:

  • Hands-off cooking – Just prep and set it. No need to monitor stove.
  • Weeknight and party friendly – Easy for family meals or larger gatherings.
  • Budget-friendly – Uses cheaper braising cuts like pork shoulder or chicken thighs.
  • Made ahead – Prepare broth and meats in advance.
  • Customizable – Each person makes their own with preferred veggies, cook times, etc.
  • Fun and interactive – Still involves communal cooking participation.
  • Easy cleanup – Liners help reduce mess.


What’s the best temperature setting for slow cooker hot pot?

Use the low setting for 6-8 hours. This allows time for the broth to simmer and infuse flavors into the ingredients.

Can I adjust cooking times for different meats and vegetables?

Yes. Quick-cooking items like shrimp can be added towards the end to avoid overcooking. Veggies can be staggered too.

Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on all day unattended?

Yes, as long as you use caution. Program for low, keep away from flammables, and don’t exceed recommended max cook times.

How do I avoid mushy vegetables in slow cooker hot pot?

Add tender vegetables like mushrooms and greens in the last 30-60 minutes only. They’ll cook through without turning mushy.

Can I convert stovetop hot pot recipes to the slow cooker?

Absolutely! Just swap out broths unsafe for long cook times, reduce thin-sliced meats, and stagger veggies by cook time.

Bring Hot Pot Flavor Home Tonight

With just a few adaptations, you can transform hot pot into a convenient slow cooker meal. Prep meats and vegetables ahead of time. Toss them into your slow cooker with a delicious broth. Let the magic happen unattended for hours while you’re out and about. Come home to a wonderful homemade hot pot spread ready to enjoy with family and friends. Bring the fun, communal dining experience of hot pot to your home kitchen in an easy, fuss-free way any night of the week.

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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